The truth is, if you didn’t believe in your idea you wouldn’t have spent thousands of hours on it, put your own money into it or quit your stable job to work on it, right? And everyone you’ve talked to agrees that it’s a winner.
But what if I told you that the positivity and unwavering belief that got you and your idea this far now needs to be tempered while you face the reality of the market.
Because here’s the harsh truth:
A recent example of a failure is Kolos — a steering wheel for iPad driving games. After its demise the creator bravely admitted, “This was already a year in and I still hadn’t talked to any potential customers.”
They admitted that even after numerous rejections from accelerators and investors they didn’t want to go out of their comfort zone and talk to potential customers to find out if there was an actual market need for the iPad steering wheel. Early adopters seemed to like it. Actual customers didn’t.
In the beginning, start-ups run on a mixture of blissful ignorance and limitlessness that is incredibly important to creativity and innovation. But what most entrepreneurs need to understand is that implementation is even more important than innovation. So before you make a big leap of faith, remember that facing the reality of research and development can save you time and costly mistakes.
It starts with what we call Customer Discovery. And asking questions like:
Simple, right? But almost half of startups that fail do so because in the end, not enough people want the thing or service they were producing.
A 2009 Small Business Association study out of the US says for every 10 per cent increase in research and development financing, companies can expect to have up to a three per cent increase in market value on their company.
Startups are risky endeavors. The market doesn’t care about whether you succeed or fail but we do. You can increase your chances of success by 100 times by actually talking with prospective customers.
For more on talking to customers, check out Customer Discovery 101.
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